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Israel's Defense Minister threatens Iran with military action: What you need to know

Israel is prepared to attack Iran, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, as his country lobbied for a response to a fatal drone attack on an Israeli-operated oil tanker that it blamed on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Asked in an interview on a local media website whether Israel is prepared to assault Iran, Gantz gave a one-word answer: “‘Yes.”

The answer by Benny Gantz comes as Israel lobbies countries for action at the United Nations over last week's attack on the oil tanker that killed two people.

The tanker called Mercer Street, struck off Oman in the Arabian Sea, is managed by a firm owned by an Israeli billionaire.

The United States and the United Kingdom also blamed Iran for the attack, but no country has offered intelligence or proof to support the claim. Iran, which along with its regional militia allies has launched similar drone attacks, has denied being involved.

The U.N. Security Council will discuss the tanker attack behind closed doors on Friday, according to diplomats who asked not to be identified in advance of the session. The U.K. sent a letter to the council this week that it was “highly likely” that the tanker was attacked by Iran, and the U.S. urged the council to debate the attack.

On Wednesday, in a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Iran's deputy ambassador to the United Nations described Israel as “the main source of instability and insecurity in the Middle East and beyond for more than seven decades.”

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